My self-esteem fluctuates throughout the year, and it takes a major dip when summer rolls around – could it be the swimsuit anxiety?! Well, it’s definitely an emotional and very real reminder of some of the demons I’ve conquered in the past.  But like all worthy opponents, these demons rear their ugly heads from time to time.  And what better time than summer and swimsuit season?

GWC regulars know I’ve addressed issues of self-esteem in the past, and I’m elated by the progress being made related to body positivity.  The gloves are off and the fashion industry has finally taken notice.  Never before have there been as many inclusive fashion options available to women to enjoy summer, pool parties (swimsuits and all) and picnics.

To be completely honest though, I still feel old self-doubts rise this time of year.  I figured it was a good time to remind myself of all the reasons why that was a waste of energy, a waste of time and a waste of a lot of summer fun.  I’m beautiful exactly as I am, inside and out, and so are you!

Here are 5 foolproof ways to remind yourself of all that you are, and give that self-esteem a healthy boost:

1. Role play

Grab a piece of paper, a computer or your phone.  Your task is to write an introduction: you are introducing yourself through the eyes of your best girlfriends, your hubby, b-friend, g-friend, parents, kids and anyone else who worships the hell out of you.  How do these individuals see you?  How would they describe you?  Even more important: how would you describe you if you were your best friend, and not yourself?  Don’t hold back.  Taking one step away and seeing ourselves through these unconditionally loving eyes, without the self-talk that brings us down can be a revelation.

2. Show off your favorite traits

If like most women, the source of your self-esteem angst is related to perceived physical imperfections, realize you aren’t alone.  Decades of programming have most of us beating ourselves up for failing to achieve a beauty ideal that is impossible and unhealthy; one that is photoshopped and edited because even the professional models and actresses whose livelihood depends on looking a certain way, find it impossible to maintain.  This has been a personal mission for me, as you know. 

I’ve learned more than a thing or two about body confidence over the years.  For starters, let that negative self-talk go!  You are beautiful.  Positive body confidence is attainable, but it takes time and practice. Need a quick boost?  Focus on what you love about your body and play it up!  Is it your eyes? Pull your hair up into a high ponytail and use bolder makeup on your eyes than the rest of your face. Is it your narrow waist? Belt a maxi dress for easy, breezy summer style. Is it your pretty feet?  Get a pedi, throw on some sandals and step into your day with your best foot forward. Is it your glorious behind? Show it off in skinny jeans that hug your bum in all the right places. You get the idea – dress to accentuate the parts you love and be kind to the parts that are perfectly imperfect, and smile!  It eclipses everything and releases feel-good endorphins. Plus, it’s contagious!

3. Be kind to yourself

Talk to yourself about you the way you would talk about your best friend or your kids.  You deserve the same kind of worship that you dole out on those you love.  Look in the mirror and brag about yourself.  Better yet, close your eyes and brag about your inner beauty.  Talk about your inner strength; Talk about the ways you tackle adversity, the kindnesses you have shared with others, then keep going. You can do this.

4. Quit comparing yourself to others

We can’t know what anyone else is truly feeling, or what their burdens are.  It’s easy to compare ourselves to others and think someone may have it all together when in fact they are dealing with their own issues.  Focusing on yourself and where or whom you hope to be 5 years from now is a better way to channel your energy, more productive and positive in the long run.

5. Take a break from social media

Generally speaking, most social media platforms have become superficial billboards for posting only the positive parts of life, without any of the messiness that we all deal with every day.  It creates a sense of not measuring up for many.  If you feel a little deflated or defeated by scrolling familiar feeds, take a break, consider unfollowing accounts that make you feel less than, and be sure to keep up with us here at GirlWithCurves, because like a best friend or big sister, we’ve got your back and are here to remind you that you’re beautiful and amazing!